RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:00:01]
ANNOUNCER: You found it. It’s your safer place for retirement planning. Prepare to be coddled in pure fiduciary goodness with your host and President of Decker Retirement Planning, Mike Decker. This is Safer Retirement Radio. If you’re in or near retirement, listen up and learn about a math-based, principle-based approach to retirement that is designed to help you enjoy a safer retirement. These strategies are to help protect and grow what you’ve saved and live the life you want today. So, grab a pen, because your safer path to retirement planning starts now.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:00:37]
MIKE: Welcome everyone to Safer Retirement Radio, from the bottom of my heart. I’m Mike Decker, the host and president of Decker Retirement Planning and joining me is my dear friend but also fiduciary 65 licensed, I mean, you’re a licensed financial advisor, Clayton Bradshaw. Clayton, thank you for joining me on this show every single week. It’s a fun time.
CLAYTON: This is so great to be here, thanks Mike for having me. I look forward to the show today.
MIKE: Now, real quick, this is what we’re talking about today. I want to get right out of there. Last night, you’ll never believe the question that was asked to me during our social security events. We’re going to dive into social security today.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:01:12]
MIKE: Of all my years doing it, I have never been asked that, so we’ll be talking about that, as well as rentals, pensions, do they fit in a retirement plan, objectively speaking? Absolutely, but only sometimes when implemented correctly. So, if you’ve got a pension, if you’ve got rental real estate, what we’re going to be talking about here is the objective difference between, “Does it make sense?,” or is it an emotion-based decision to cope with fear, we’re going to be breaking that apart. As well as the most important structure to get right, is how to organize your assets.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:01:48]
MIKE: You may have enough assets, but when disorganized or not implemented correctly, it’s not only your income that’s affected, it is also your estate that’s being dwindled inappropriately and inefficiently. All that today on Safer Retirement Radio. Clayton, let’s dive right in with just the principles that govern retirement planning. The first principle, draw income from principle guaranteed sources. We don’t care what they are, basically they just can’t lose principle. ‘Cause if the market crashes your income doesn’t need to crash. That’s the principle behind it is that you have stability in your income.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:02:25]
MIKE: But that’s not what the show’s about today. Today it’s about the second and third principle. Second principle is to diversify by purpose, not just by risk. Here’s what that means. You might diversify your assets by risk, as in if the market goes down you don’t want to participate with it. That’s negative volatility, that’s bad. Bad news bears. But you need to have purpose to your investments. Can a mutual fund do everything? No. Clayton, what about stocks? Are stocks the answer to all?
CLAYTON: Depends on who you ask. [LAUGH]
MIKE: Right. You see a lot of income annuities that come through your office.
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MIKE: Are those the end-all answer?
CLAYTON: Right. And you know, I say it depends on who you ask, because if you ask somebody that isn’t a fiduciary, if they’re getting paid by selling that stock, they’re going to tell you that stock is going to do everything that you want it and need it to do.
MIKE: Yeah. And they’ll say in a fancy way.
MIKE: Because they have their suitability and compliance as well, but the purpose is to understand these assets are over here for this purpose and these assets are over here for that purpose.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:03:30]
MIKE: Most people want to clump ‘em all together in this collective effort of, “I’ve diversified by risk and so regardless of what happens, I can still dwindle my assets.” That goes against the first principle of retirement planning, but also it puts yourself more at risk. But the second, the third principle I should say, the second point we’re really going to be talking about today is distribution planning. Okay. Safer Retirement Radio listeners, I’m going to level with you right now. So, what you’re about to hear, just hopefully you’re in the car sitting down [LAUGH] for this.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:04:03]
MIKE: A distribution plan is not a plan to just simply distribute assets. Any investment can have a plan to quote, distribute the assets according to whatever bureaucracy governs them. An illiquid REIT has technically a distribution plan, it pays dividends off it, unless they decide to stop paying dividends or income on that asset and then you’re up a creek without a paddle. Just because you have a plan to take assets from said investment, doesn’t qualify as a distribution plan.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:04:36]
MIKE: A distribution plan is, and Clayton feel free to interrupt me on this definition, but it’s essentially a written plan of organized assets that allow you to articulate down to the month, net of tax, how much you’ll receive for the rest of your life. And I’m willing to bet that 90 percent of those listening right now, on the radio or in podcast form, do not have a written plan to this extent.
CLAYTON: Right. And so, I’ll say that again a little bit differently.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:05:07]
CLAYTON: A distribution plan when properly implemented is going to show you, to the month, how much money you can draw in retirement. So, that when you retire you’ll know. You’re used to getting that paycheck.
CLAYTON: For somebody that is retired, you know what this is like. You used to be getting that paycheck, now you’re getting your retirement income. A distribution plan maps out what that income looks like. It is a written plan that you can see what it’s going to look like, and it addresses all of these other life events that come up in retirement.
MIKE: Now, I want to address an analogy here. Let’s say, Clayton, that you have lived on a salary your entire life.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:05:45]
MIKE: And now you’re going into a position to where you are earning your income a hundred percent commission based on sales. How’s your stability? How do you feel right now?
CLAYTON: Yeah, when you’ve got that unknown of what’s coming next, “Am I going to make the sale this month?” I’ve got a good friend that does sales, and he lives for it. I mean, that’s what he lives for.
MIKE: The risk taker, right?
CLAYTON: The risk taker, yeah exactly. And he, if he gets that pressure, that, “How am I going to pay the bills this month?” That forces him to work harder and get just a little bit more income brought in, so he can make those bills at the end of the month.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:06:26]
CLAYTON: I don’t personally feel like that’s a great way to live, it’s not comforting to not know what next month or what next year is going to bring.
MIKE: Now, when all is said and done, that transition, this analogy is a major reason why a lot of people are putting off their retirement. They’re putting off their retirement because they don’t have a written plan that shows what their income is going to be in a stable format. They don’t have a plan that says, “Hey, if the markets do tank in a year or two.” Let’s say that in 2021, for argument’s sake, that we get a 40 percent correction in the market.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:07:09]
MIKE: If you’re living this analogy of, “Oh, well now I’m a 100 percent commission,” it’s all eat or die kind of a situation. That’s very scary. That makes sense why a lot of people are going to push out their retirement. But when you can articulate it and obey the principles of retirement planning, and you’re drawing income from sources that cannot lose money. Your income is fine and your other assets that maybe subject to risk, that may lose money depending on how you want to invest, have time to recover.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:07:40]
MIKE: That’s what you’ve done your whole life. Folks, what I don’t understand is we’ve lived on this format of stable income from our employer and high risk with our investments. Well, when you retire, you need to create your own employment or stable income. And I’m not suggesting an income annuity. Please don’t dare think that I’m going to suggest that you take your assets and pay an insurance company to give you a 1.8 percent return for the rest of your life, that doesn’t make sense. Especially from a fiduciary standpoint.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:08:15]
MIKE: What I’m suggesting is that you create the environment that allows you to have stability in your income for at least 10 years, for our clients we recommend 20 years. And let the investments do what they’ve done your whole life, whether you want to use our two-sided models that are designed to make money in up or down markets. Or you want to buy and hold. Buy at the S&P 500 and hold it for 20 years. Chances are you’re in a win situation with both options, however, income is organized. Income is stable.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:08:49]
MIKE: You can continue that comfort just like you’ve enjoyed your whole life, receiving a paycheck from an employer, you’re just your own employer giving yourself that stability and comfort.
CLAYTON: Well, and Mike I want to contrast this. So, the principle, the third principle that we’re talking about right now is use a distribution plan, use a written plan, and not a pie chart guesser.
MIKE: Oh, the pie chart guesser is like playing retirement roulette.
CLAYTON: Right. And so, this is going to sound very familiar to a lot of the listeners out there, that in your 401(k), this is what we’re talking about with a pie chart, that you’ve got your mutual funds, you’ve got your stocks, you’ve got your bond funds and your ETFs, those are exchange-traded funds for those that haven’t heard of an ETF before.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:09:30]
CLAYTON: These are very, very common instruments that a lot of bankers and brokers are going to put their clients into. And there’s a period in your life where this can work, but when you’re in retirement, the problem that we’re suggesting is that in retirement, your advisor is probably going to tell you, your banker or broker is probably going to tell you, “Hey, just pull a set percent out of this.” And this is what we’re talking about that you’ve got to hope that the market is up and consistently grows in order for this to work, and that’s why we’re comparing and contrasting the distribution plan with this pie chart.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:10:04]
MIKE: The biggest assumption that retirees are making is, “We can use the tools that we learn in the first half of our life, the accumulation phase, and apply them in the second part of our life, the distribution phase.” And that is a logical fallacy. Can you imagine using the emotional intelligence and the tools you used in grade school as you did in middle school, or middle school and high school, or high school and college, or college and your career? The first part of your career and the second part of the career, we learn as we go.
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MIKE: But financially most Americans are stunted by the comfort of an accumulation phase and not the distribution phase of their life.
CLAYTON: And so, for any of our listeners that want to come in and learn more about what a distribution plan is and what it looks like, what a written plan looks like, give us a call. Our number is (833) 707-3030. And when you call, if it’s on the weekend we’ve got a friendly answering individual that’s going to take your name, take your number, and during business hours, during the week we’ll give you a call back. If you call us during the week, you’ll be able to get in touch with one of our operations managers, they can get an appointment set with one of our planners.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:11:20]
MIKE: Yeah. Now, imagine this. All Safer Retirement Radios, imagine this right now. Imagine that you get a phone call from your friend that you knew 10 years ago, you know, your friend that you used to do the barbecues with, the neighborhood cookouts, and they’ve since moved to Florida for their job. But they’ve retired in the last year. And they’re calling you saying, “Hey, remember that Mediterranean cruise we talked about over and over, over our Big Green Egg barbecues that we were having there. And had some great reminiscent times. Well, Patty [PH] and I are doing that next year. Do you want to go?” Now, let me give you some context. Markets were down. Can you still go?
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:11:59]
MIKE: Do you have the plan that allows you regardless of what markets are doing to go on these fun adventures, to live the bucket list items, the dreams that you had, or is your life, your livelihood dictated by what the markets decide to do? Which one? Which life are you going to live?
CLAYTON: So, give us a call, our number’s (833) 707-3030. Again, that’s (833) 707-3030.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:12:35]
MIKE: What this visit is, I want to just explain real quick. The visit is a time where you come in, it’s very relaxed. I mean, we’re not going to lock the door, swallow the key, or anything like that. We’re going to let you come in and we visit with you as a fiduciary. Let me explain the word fiduciary just a little bit differently, okay. If you’ve heard the term Sherpa, Sherpa are those folks that walk with you up and down Everest. They walk with you every step of the way. See, our review is kind of like that. We’re going to review your retirement plan as a specialist in retirement. And review it as if we were going to walk every step of the with you.
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MIKE: Does it work? Does it not work? Do you have the right gear? Do you have the right plan? Is it articulate in a way that it can handle the different stresses of retirement? But here’s what the review is not. The review is not a place to make financial decisions. It is not a place to make financial decisions, I can’t stress that enough. It would be ridiculous to walk into an office and be expected to sign up for something, that is ludicrous. I know it happens in the industry, that is not what this visit is for. What this visit is also not is a time to pay us some money. Leave your checkbook at home.
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MIKE: It’s at no cost to you, but we as fiduciaries are able to review in a very relaxing environment what your retirement looks like and provide some clarity so with a goal in mind of giving you comfort that you have a bright future ahead of you.
CLAYTON: So, again our number, (833) 707-3030. Give us a call, we can get you set up for one of those reviews.
MIKE: That’s (833) 707-3030. Clayton, last night, I want to talk about the question that I could not believe was asked to me. I’m still kind of appalled that this kind of situation would happen.
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MIKE: So, let me give you some background. Last night we did a social security event here in Salt Lake. Okay, even in the snowstorm that hit Salt Lake, we had a great attendance and really provided a lot of value to a lot of people because we’re not just talking about social security, it’s how social security affects the big picture. Okay?
CLAYTON: And real quick, for those that might be listening, if you want to attend one of these events, we’ve got them in Salt Lake, in the Greater Salt Lake area. We also have them around in Bellevue, Kirkland, Renton.
MIKE: Yeah, Washington area, we’ve also got ‘em in San Francisco, and we got ‘em in multiple states. You can go to DeckerRetirementPlanning.com and look for our events.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:15:00]
MIKE: So, last night was a fun event and then this lady raises her hand and she says, “Hey, how do I get my spousal benefits? See, my husband and I married 30 years ago. And we had a great marriage. I mean, we were connected, raised a couple of kids together, made the decision that I would stay at home and raise the kids. That was something we decided was best for our family and it was just blissful.”
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MIKE: “But after 20 years of marriage, things kind of, they changed a little bit.” And we’ll call this person Nancy. And then Nancy says, “Over time the marriage just decayed into divorce. Now, here I am, been married from 20 years old to now I’m… or just after my twenties, now I’m in my mid-fifties. I’m divorced, don’t really want to remarry right now. But he got all the social security benefits.”
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MIKE: “He’s getting the benefit, I don’t want to call him. I’m not going to call him to get the benefit, I would rather not get the benefit than have to call him again because that’s how bad it ended.” Folks, social security is a major income stream for a lot of people. When we talk about distribution planning, it’s not just organizing your assets. Which we’re going to talk about later in this show. It is also understanding the income streams that apply to your plan. This broke my heart. And the reason why is misinformation was given to Nancy on what was really available to her.
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CLAYTON: Right. You know, Mike, I’ve talked to folks before that have come in, that similar situation. I mean, divorces are very common in the United States and…
MIKE: Yeah, well, fortunately, unfortunately. I don’t want two people that hate each other live with each other, but the fact that you got to that point is very sad.
CLAYTON: Right. And so, with this one of the things that it’s an unknown for a lot of folks is, “All right, well, I was married, now I’m divorced. How does that affect my social security?” ‘Cause maybe one of the individuals, they put the time in at home, they put the work in at home.
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CLAYTON: Getting the kids raised and out the door. They didn’t get to put in those career hours to build up their social security. And so, getting an understanding of how that social security affects you when now maybe you’re headed back to work after a divorce and you’re in your fifties. And you need to know, “Well, I’m approaching retirement, I should be entitled to some of those benefits.”
MIKE: Yeah. So, all the divorcees listening right now, if you’re still single, go to SSA, that’s Social Security Administration, dot gov. On there you can put in your information and get more clarity on your benefit. For all the divorcees, I’m going to answer that question right now and then we’re going to back into understanding how people file for social security.
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MIKE: If you’re a divorcee and you’re still single and you’re between 62 to 70 years old, you can file for social security, full retirement age on, I believe you can file for spousal, it’s recommended to not take the discount there. Depending on your situation, but you don’t need to talk to your ex. You do not need to talk to your ex, you can file your social security and if you were married 10 years or longer you qualify for half of your ex-spouse’s social security and it won’t come from their check, they won’t even know it’s happening. They don’t even need to file for you to get it, it is a completely independent decision for you.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:18:29]
MIKE: Let me give you some clarity. Social security to qualify means you have to get 40 credits. You can earn one credit a quarter, or roughly to simplify it, if you earned about just over 5000 dollars in a year, you got four credits that year. Okay? Qualifying for social security is a simple thing to do. If you’ve worked 10 years, chances are you’ve qualified.
CLAYTON: Right. And I know we’re getting down a bit of a rabbit hole here, Mike, with the specifics behind social security.
CLAYTON: Chances are if you put in a career, if you worked for more than 10 years like you’re saying, then social security is something that you should be entitled to.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:19:07]
CLAYTON: If you were married to somebody that worked longer than 10 years, and this is something, this is a big point. I had a lot of couples that come in that weren’t divorced, they were happily married. They had managed to make it those 30-plus years. And even they weren’t aware that the one who stayed home was entitled to a spousal benefit. So, this doesn’t just apply for divorcees, this also applies to couples that are still married. So, keep in mind that spousal benefit is something that most folks that are married, their spouse is entitled to that.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:19:40]
MIKE: There’s a financial incentive of being married for 10 years or longer, by the Social Security Administration. But wrapping back into this, this is one of the biggest misconceptions on social security and that is many financial professionals that are uninformed are saying, “Social security, the benefit is calculated off of your highest 10-year earnings of income.” That is false. Social security is calculated off of the average of the top 35 years of employment. If you worked 40 years, you get the top 35. If you worked 30 years, then you get five zeros added on because you’ve qualified for it.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:20:19]
MIKE: They’re just trying to find that number. Here’s why it’s important for you. I’ve got a client actually, after the radio show I’ll be visiting with them. And she moved from Canada to the United States. She’s worked for 20 years. She wants to make sure that she can deliberately map out her social security benefit to get the most possible and she doesn’t mind working, she’s still young. Her husband has already hit a rough max amount for the social security, which is around 3,011 dollars if you file today at age 66. So, he’s about maxed out and good to go. Once they retire he’ll receive the max, but she will not.
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MIKE: And we are planning, we were incorporating into our planning process how to maximize her social security with the years left of her earning. When all is said and done, folks, what I’m getting at is if social security is a big part of your retirement, or you want to make sure that you get as much out of Uncle Sam as possible, there’s 567 ways to file for social security, there’s thousands of rules that depict on those 567 ways to file for social security, and there’s even thousands on top of thousands on the rules on social security. In a nutshell, it is very complicated and that is why we are here.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:21:39]
MIKE: We are here to help people guide through this rat nest of rules. To help you maximize your benefit, not only just on the conversation of social security. But how social security can help boost your estate. How social security can help boost your income. How social security can help you retire maybe a few years earlier. Because when it comes down to it folks, time I believe is our most precious commodity, and it would kill me to hear that someone delayed their retirement just because they wanted to wait ‘til 70 years old to maximize their benefit when it was unnecessary.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:22:16]
CLAYTON: And I don’t think a lot of people out there, you just gave a lot of stats on how many options there are to draw social security, I don’t think there’s a lot of people that realize how many different ways there are to draw social security, ‘cause you hear about drawing as soon as 62 and then you hear about your full retirement age and that’s a whole ‘nother story to get into ‘cause there are a few reasons that we won’t have time to talk about today that social security, why full retirement’s important.
MIKE: You want to hear a fun stat?
CLAYTON: Let’s hear it.
MIKE: ‘Kay. If you’re 60 years old and you want to maximize your income, and you don’t have a pension, you don’t have rental income, it’s just your income from assets and your social security. Clayton, can you guess the maximum time they should file for social security?
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:22:58]
CLAYTON: Well, you hear that 70’s the big age. So, is it different than 70?
MIKE: It is 68 and a half years old. If you file at 70, your estate will have been hurt a little bit more than necessary, this is called stretch or gap planning. Bridge [gap?] planning some people will call it as well. And you’ll lose out on a couple hundred dollars a month because you are just trying to wait a little bit longer than needed.
CLAYTON: And this goes back to what we just talked about, the third principle with a safer retirement, right?
MIKE: Mm-hmm, use a distribution plan, not the pie chart guesser. So, you can coordinate the efforts and let them work together. I mean, I think of this analogy that was told years ago to me.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:23:36]
MIKE: And that is that we’re going to be, when you move a piano it’s really hard to get one or two guys to move that piano, but if you get a bunch of people around, and everyone lifts where they stand, the piano’s much lighter. If you get all of your assets and organize them appropriately and you articulate the income streams on when you want to take them and how you’re going to take them, like social security, guess what Clayton? Your income’s going to come a little bit easier, you can retire earlier, and your estate is more protected as in it grows better and faster for your beneficiaries, however you see fit.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:24:08]
CLAYTON: So, if you want to see what it looks like on social security and how to optimize that, I know we’ve talked about a lot of different strategies here and maybe these won’t apply to you, because everyone’s strategy is going to be specific to them, and we can’t know what that’s going to look like until we sit down and do that review that we talked about, so if you want to have that review, if you want to learn about how to optimize your social security, give us a call. Our number’s (833) 707-3030.
MIKE: Picture this. Just for argument’s sake, I want everyone listening right now to picture this. Picture at a movie, no one’s in the movie theater, it is just you. Curtains draw, lights go on, and the picture starts.
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MIKE: And this is a motion picture of your retirement. What does it look like? When did you retire? Forget about the finances, forget about the stress of income for just a brief moment here. What does your retirement look like? Are you with the grandkids? Are you spending time with friends? Are you enjoying a fishing trip off of Madagascar? Are you on an African safari? Are you at home knitting or fishing on the local river here? What does your retirement look like?
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MIKE: Now, let’s put a pause on that. What is holding you back from getting there? That’s our job. It’s to get those roadblocks out of the way so you can live the life that you wanted to and enjoy the retirement that you were just picturing right now.
CLAYTON: So, when you call, you’re going to get a friendly voice, if it’s on the weekend they’re going to take your information and we’ll reach out to you on Monday to be able to get an appointment scheduled. Again, here’s what these visits are, you come in, we’ve got nice offices, we’re really proud of ‘em.
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CLAYTON: You’ll be able to sit down in a private setting with the advisor, the fiduciary. And they’re going to just talk about what’s important to you, they want to learn about you and what you need in retirement and what is stopping you from getting there. And here’s what it’s not.
CLAYTON: We’re not going to bring you in and lock you in the room and throw away the key until you sign something or pay something. There’s no obligation, no commitment, no cost to do this review.
MIKE: Mm-hmm. The value of a second opinion is huge. What do you have to lose?
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:26:30]
MIKE: Benefit? A better decision? A better outcome? A better retirement? Dare I say, a safer retirement? We’re here to help people, that’s our bottom line. We’re fiduciaries, we’re legally bound to do what’s in your best interest, and that’s the purpose of this review is to give you that second set of eyes to help you make the best decisions possible.
CLAYTON: So, give us a call, our number again, (833) 707-3030. Again, that’s (833) 707-3030.
MIKE: Clayton, let’s keep talking about income streams.
RR S3 E30 SOLVING CONCERNS INCOME RETIREMENT [00:27:01]
MIKE: If you’re just tuning in right now, this is Safer Retirement Radio, we’ve started out with the second and third principle of retirement planning. Diversify by purpose, not just by risk. Basically, don’t have all of your assets trying to accomplish the same goal. There’s different goals in retirement and we want to make sure that your assets do what they’re meant to do. Then also use a distribution plan, not the pie chart guesser. We’ve also talked about social security and the different ways you can file and how you can do all that. And if you’re just tuning in and want to catch the whole show, you can get it, iTunes, Google Play, wherever you get your podcasts, or on DeckerRetirementPlanning.com, it’s on there as well.
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MIKE: But we’re going to continue on, we’re going to be talking about rentals and pensions and then of most important at all, there’s one part of every retirement plan that when implemented and organized correctly has the best lasting effects on a successful retirement. And when not implemented correctly it’s devastating to income and to your estate. Stay tuned to talk about that. Let’s talk about rentals and pensions though. These are other income streams like social security but less people will have them.
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MIKE: Though they are very popular, and we see a lot of rental real estate here and there’s still a few pensions out there which is quite remarkable.
CLAYTON: Right. So, we just talked about social security, that is an example of an income stream that you get in retirement. Now, there are other examples of income streams, which we just talked about. Rentals and pensions. So, I want to take a moment to talk about a pension. Now, not everybody gets a pension, it’s the lucky few anymore that do. Especially with our location up in Washington, we’ve got a lot of Boeing employees up there that get great pensions. Now, for those that have a pension, or they think they might have a pension, here’s typically what you’re going to see or what it’s going to look like.
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CLAYTON: You’re going to be given an option for your pension. How do you want to take this? And for some people it’s going to be a lump sum distribution, that’s where you get all of the pension, the entirety of it paid out in one check. Or you get those lifetime payouts. And usually for those you get anywhere between, I don’t know, five to 10 options. And I saw this a lot, I see this a lot with the folks that I meet with, that they are able to pick. “All right, what works best for me?” And this is all coming from the HR department at their work and so they’re not going to give them that counsel on it because it’s, “All right, here’s your options, what do you want to do?”
MIKE: Can I tell you a story that happened just yesterday?
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MIKE: A gentleman who living in Maryland worked for the CIA and had done rather well for himself. Died of a heart attack after 30 years of work and was still 20 years away from his goal retirement. When he signed up, for one reason or another, he had signed up and did not go through the conversation about survivability with the pension. The heart attack came out of the blue. The wife, who I was talking with just last night, had a 50 percent cut on what was supposed to be her life support for the rest of her life.
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MIKE: She’s getting half the income because of a surprise that happened out of nowhere and now she has to live with half the income that was expected in her retirement. It is so unnecessary, but HR departments may not always be equipped or proactive to answer these questions and have the conversations, that’s why you have a financial professional who’s organizing your retirement as a whole, not just, “Oh, this person over here and that person over there, and this and that.” That’s not how it’s meant to work.
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CLAYTON: And when it’s implemented correctly with a distribution plan, when you’ve got that written plan and you can see, and you can talk about all those contingencies. All right. And this is one of the conversations I love to have with folks. “All right, let’s look at your pension before you start taking it.” You have the option that half of it can go to your spouse or all of it can go to your spouse or none of it can go to your spouse. Who’s healthier? What happens if the husband dies or the wife dies? And you can see what that looks like mapped out for the rest of your life. Because I met with some folks that it was a small enough pension, they didn’t need to have any of it carry over to their spouse.
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CLAYTON: They were going to be okay. But I met with some that that was a large part of their income in retirement and they absolutely needed that to last for whoever outlived the other one.
MIKE: My grandma, love her to death, schoolteacher, was not going to get a pension, she was an English teacher up in Washington, up in the Bellevue school district. My grandfather, Boeing employee, engineer. He, according to my grandma, was made fun of for taking 100 percent pension.
CLAYTON: Do you mean the 100 percent survivorship?
MIKE: Or hundred percent survivability on the pension. His friends or alleged coworkers, alleged friends I should say, said, “Why not take more money now?”
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MIKE: “Live your life and when you die, whatever.” Now, I recognize that may not be the popular sentiment today, but back in the day, and this is years ago, he got made fun of for it. Well, guess what? He died in his sixties, my grandma died in her late-eighties.
CLAYTON: So, she benefited from that.
MIKE: She survived because he chose 100 percent survivability. If anyone within the sound of my voice can predict the future, I’d love to talk with you. But for the rest of us, let’s plan accordingly. Let’s hope for the best, plan for the worst, and have flexibility built-in to our plan so we can conquer life’s challenges.
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CLAYTON: Now, when it comes to pensions, one of the options I mentioned, and this has been kind of fading out, but I know there are still a lot of folks out there that can get the lump sum option, which means that that full amount will be paid out in just one check. Here’s some considerations I want our listeners to take in mind as they’re taking to account as they are preparing to take that pension. If you have a lump sum option, you’ve got to consider three reasons why it might be beneficial to take that lump sum payout. Number one, is you have the company risk.
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CLAYTON: So, you’ve got to, if you take the lifetime payout, you’ve got to depend on that company to outlive you. Right? So, Pan American Airlines, they are the poster child for company risk, right?
MIKE: [LAUGH] Yeah.
CLAYTON: I’m sure you remember Pan American Airlines, they had these pilots with these great pensions and then the company went under and then their pilots that had retired were up a creek.
MIKE: Pennies on the dollar.
CLAYTON: Right. And so, the next one then is your estate risk. So, this is another one and this is a big one for a lot of folks that want to leave something to their kids, they want to leave an estate.
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CLAYTON: If you take that lump sum payout, that money becomes yours whether or not you live to use it or not. And it’s going to stay in your estate, it’s going to pass to your beneficiaries. So, if you don’t think you’ve got a lot of health, or maybe you just want to just take that because you don’t want to depend on that company to outlive you, take that lump sum payout. Finally, the last one is rate of return. If you take a lump sum payout option and you invest it in even a savings account paying you one and a half to two percent right now, which is what a lot of ‘em are, those money market accounts.
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CLAYTON: It’s going to grow to be more than what it would be if you took that lifetime payout over the next 20 years. And so, those are some considerations when opting for the lump sum payout. Now, if you want to see what this looks like, if you want to see how this fits into your overall retirement, the distribution plan is going to be able to answer those questions and show you how that pension fits together with social security, with your assets, with what your potential taxes can be.
MIKE: And what your estate looks like. It’s just comparing.
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MIKE: And I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t see the two and think, “This makes sense, I want to go with this option.” All we want to do is provide you the options objectively and then let you go from there. It’s simple. Now, Clayton, rental real estate kind of has some similarities. There’s this nest egg option or the equity on the home. And then there’s an income stream, it’s another popular income stream, but the big question is, do you keep the house and keep the income stream happening or do you sell the house? How do you walk through clients in that conversation?
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CLAYTON: Whatever’s right for them is what I’m going to recommend. And that’s going back to what does the plan look like? What are their goals? What’s important to them? I had a lot of folks come in that they said, “Listen, we talked to our guy or gal over at the bank or the brokerage firm and they were saying that I should sell my property and realize the equity, home values are skyrocketing, I could get a lot of equity out of it. And then they want me to turn around and invest it. But my gut tells me that that just doesn’t feel right right now.” And when I hear that I think to myself, “Well, let’s look at it. Is it right or not?”
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CLAYTON: Like, what’s the reason behind that?
CLAYTON: What’s the motivation? And so, with rentals, some considerations that you have to take into account is, what’s your goal with it? And how do you want to use it? Because I’ve seen some folks that the way they’ve got their rental set up, it’s great. And when plugged into a distribution plan and when you can see all of those streams of income when you can see it compared to the pension, compared to the social security, compared to whatever, multiple pensions or multiple rentals, you can see how that fits together.
CLAYTON: ‘Cause some people it’s going to be, “All right, well I’m just going to hold this rental for the rest of my life, and I’m going to pass it on as an asset, as an inheritance to my beneficiaries.”
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CLAYTON: Other people think, “You know what? I don’t know if I really want to deal with this rental, ‘cause I’m doing the property management on it,” and maybe this is our listeners out there. If you’re thinking, “How do I deal with that property management aspect when I get into my late-seventies, I don’t want to pay somebody to do it. I’m handy, I’ve been taking care of it myself, but there’ll come a point where I won’t physically want to do that or I won’t have the time to do it, I’ll be traveling and I can’t take that 03:00 AM phone call anymore.” “The water heater went out, the basement’s flooded, I need you to solve my problem.” Right? That’s where it becomes a problem.
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CLAYTON: And so, with rentals, you’ve got to consider all of these different aspects, and if somebody, if you walk into an advisor’s office and they’re telling you, “Sell your rental, ‘cause I want to manage those assets,” without even looking at the big picture, than something has got to be wrong.
MIKE: It’s all about what is right for you. And unless you can articulate that and you can have a comparison, I think it’s impossible to have that conversation unless you use a safer distribution plan and you run two different scenarios. It’s quite simple and most people that I’ve seen that had rental real estate for years and years and they’re used to it and they’ve got it all under control, and there’s some third-party management system and they’re making good money off of it, they keep ‘em.
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MIKE: But what’s interesting is, those who think, “I’m going to get into this, this whole… I’m going to get into the rental game now and I’m 60 years old.” Rarely does that make sense. When I say rarely I mean rarely does it make sense from an investment standpoint, from the growth standpoint, from the flexibility of a plan standpoint. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Buying a house is putting a lot of eggs in a basket. Is that okay with you? What does it look like? What are the other options? A lot of people, they go down this route because they’re just scared of the stock market. And folks, I’ll tell you right now, we’re not Wall Street.
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MIKE: We’re not the guys being controlled by Wall Street, we get how Wall Street plays, and we do quite well playing their game, but we’re not Wall Street and we’re not going to sit here and tell you what Wall Street wants you to do. We’re going to tell you what you need to do and we’re going to help you focus on what is right for your plan.
CLAYTON: Well, and so, I just recently moved and my realtor, she was asking what I did for work, and I told her I was a retirement planner and she kind of scoffed at that, and said, “Well, huh, show me something that can do better than real estate?” And I thought, “Well, maybe it has worked for her.” And she has the license, she can put the time in to buy those properties.
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CLAYTON: But then I think to myself, “Well, how does liquidity fit into that?” If all of your eggs are in that real estate basket, what if you need access to that money? What if you don’t want to take on that home equity loan payment? If you want to sell a property, it might take you a month or two or six or the rest of the year to get out from underneath that property, to get access to some of those funds. And so, this is an example of the considerations I want our listeners to look at, or think about when it comes to owning property.
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CLAYTON: Is real estate a viable option to have as part of your retirement plan? Sure. If it fits for some folks. Is it in every case? No, not at all. But that’s why every plan has to be looked at individually. Everybody has to look at where they’re at.
MIKE: Now, one size does not fit all and that’s the point of having a customized written distribution plan. A plan that articulates the three principles that govern proper retirement planning and the dream and narrative of what your retirement looks like.
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CLAYTON: So, now if you want to see how that rental or how that pension and your options for your pension fit into your retirement plan or fit into a distribution plan, give us a call. Our number is (833) 707-3030. When you call we’ve got a friendly voice that’ll answer, again if it’s on the weekend they’re going to take your information, someone will get back to you Monday. If it’s during the week, we’ll be able to get you in for a visit to sit down with one of our fiduciaries. And that is where they will walk you through what is important to you. They’ll find out, or ask those questions to find out what you need.
MIKE: Picture this, okay Clayton? And this is a real story that happened to a client a couple of years ago.
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MIKE: You’re living a normal day, you’re currently retired, all is well. You woke up, you had your earl grey tea, you sat on the back porch, read the newspaper on your iPad because you’re tech savvy now, and you’ve got things going here. And it’s a beautiful spring morning. And then you get a call from the hospital. It’s not your wife, it’s your son. Your son just had a motorcycle accident. He’s now paraplegic. What do you do?
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MIKE: Do you have the flexibility in your plan? Do you have other ulteriors [PH]? If rental real estate, all your eggs were in that basket, what do you do? How can you help him? Can you help him? Does your pension allow you to divert some assets over there? Does your income provide it? Flexibility for when life happens is critical. In this situation, we reorganized the plan, created a lifetime trust and the son was taken care of.
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MIKE: Are you prepared to have those kinds of conversations of flexibility because no one really knows, especially with health, what life is going to throw at them. And unless you can use a plan like this, the tragedy I just articulated is not uncommon. It may take different forms, it may be a sudden heart attack or a stroke, it may be a skydiving accident. I mean, we don’t know what will happen.
CLAYTON: Or maybe it’s the birth of a grandbaby.
MIKE: Maybe it’s the birth of a grandbaby and you want to fly out the next day. But having the flexibility of major life events is critical to any retirement plan. And all I’m suggesting is locking up assets for income streams that don’t provide flexibility may not be the best option.
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CLAYTON: So, give us a call, when you come in, again, I just want to explain what that visit’s going to look like. You’ll come in, no obligation, you don’t have to bring your checkbook, you don’t have to pay for anything. They’re not going to lock the door and throw the key away when you come in. You’ll be able to sit down with a fiduciary and get investment advice that is specific to you and your needs. They will find out what’s important to you, what you’re looking for, what you have, and be able to answer the questions that you have. They’re not going to try to pitch you on something, they’re just trying to find out what’s your plan look like, do you have any gaps in it?
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CLAYTON: And if so, here’s the suggestion based on your needs.
MIKE: Yeah. And here’s what it’s not. It’s not a situation where you come in and we just talk to you for an hour. That’s redundant. That’s stupid. It’s not a situation where we’re going to pretend to listen and then sell you a product. No financial decisions are even made in this at all, it is pure and simple, a relaxed visit to go over your plan and as a fiduciary, ask the questions that may provoke a better outcome to the ideal retirement, the one that you’re really wanting, the one that you’re hoping to get.
CLAYTON: So, give us a call. (833) 707-3030.
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CLAYTON: Again, (833) 707-3030.
MIKE: Now, if you’re just tuning in, this is Safer Retirement Radio, I’m Mike Decker and Clayton Bradshaw, my cohost here and licensed fiduciary and retirement planner. We’ve covered distribution planning, how just because you can distribute assets doesn’t mean it’s a distribution plan. We talked about social security and the importance of knowing your options and how to optimize it and organize it with a holistic approach, not just individually. We also talked about rentals and pensions and how they are beautifully articulated into a retirement plan when it makes sense and when it doesn’t make sense.
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MIKE: The other options that are available there. And if you’ve just tuned into the show you can always catch it at DeckerRetirementPlanning.com but right now this is the big one. This is the biggie, Clayton. This is the white whale if you’re Moby Dick. This is your white whale. This is the number one reason that I have seen retirement plans fail. When implemented correctly it is also the number one reason why retirement plans succeed. There’s a small group of retirees that we worked with back in 2008.
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MIKE: When I say a small group I’m comparing it to the nation, okay. This group made money in 2008, they didn’t have to change their travel plans. Sure, their friends may have cancelled on them because their portfolios were built into the pie chart guesser, they took the 40 plus percent hit from 2008, and changed their lives. But the small group that did what we’re about to talk to you, did not live in fear and sailed through that unaffected and participated in a wonderful bull market ever since.
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MIKE: How you organized your assets and then distribute from them is the make or break between a successful retirement plan and a failed retirement plan. Here’s what I mean. There are three principles that govern proper retirement planning, when implemented correctly you are set up to have a high probability of the success that our clients experienced in 2008. They are as follows. Draw income from principle guaranteed sources. That means that where you’re drawing income from, it cannot lose money. Am I saying put all of your assets in accounts that cannot lose money? No!
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MIKE: Which is why the second principle of retirement planning exists. Diversify by purpose, not just by risk. You got some assets for income, can’t lose money. Your income is coming to you just like your employment check. Nice and easy. Don’t worry about the markets, it’s just going to happen. Then you’ve got some assets that are long term. Most people, they like the risk. Just like when you were working and got your paycheck and you had your assets in a 401(k), yeah, they could’ve lost money. But over the long term, they could gain money. That’s the purpose of those other assets. And then you’ve got a little pot over here for emergencies. When the worst should happen. In a money market account, you can get a next, or in that moment, the very instant moment for when an emergency happens.
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MIKE: When you diversify by purpose you’re covering all the bases of what a retirement plan needs because you’ve also accepted the fact that there is no one investment for all needs in retirement. And the third principle we’ve talking about the whole day of the show is, use a distribution plan, not the pie chart guesser, because right now folks, the biggest fear is, “Will my income last?” That is the conversation that we’re having over and over in our offices at Decker Retirement Planning, aside from tax minimization and risk reduction. It all comes down to, “Am I going to receive the income that I need for the rest of my life?” That’s the core fundamental worry.
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MIKE: And it all comes down to how you’re organizing your assets in retirement.
CLAYTON: So, Mike, I took a call this week, talked a gentleman who…
MIKE: In Texas, right?
CLAYTON: Yeah, he was out of Texas, and it was interesting to listen to him ‘cause he said, “You know, I was talking to my sister and you know, I’ve got some investments, I’ve been working with an advisor and he’s got me all in a bunch of mutual funds and he keeps telling me that mutual funds are what I need, but…”
MIKE: Oh yeah, those mutual funds, they do everything, don’t they?
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CLAYTON: Right. And I can only imagine if I was to look into how that was all structured and how that individual was getting paid.
MIKE: For the record, most of our clients have some mutual funds, it’s just not the end-all.
CLAYTON: Yeah. Mutual funds. And quite frankly, for most of the listeners out there, if you’ve had a 401(k) there’s a really good chance you’ve had a mutual fund. Very common investment. And these are a way to build your investments over the years as you’re still working, but as he was approaching retirement, something just wasn’t sitting right.
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CLAYTON: ‘Cause every time he talked to that advisor, he was told, “You need to get some mutual funds. Oh yeah, if you want to decrease your risk, let’s just get you some different mutual funds. We can get you some bond funds, or we can get you…” So, he was being told some things that just weren’t quite sitting right with him. And that’s why he was having this conversation with his sister about, “Something’s just not right here. Something feels off. I need to get a second opinion.” And that’s why he reached out is because he was looking for that second opinion to see what it was about his current plan that wasn’t sitting right.
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MIKE: So, Clayton, I know you didn’t do a full review with them, it was a phone call and he’s visiting with us via phone call, because he’s in Texas and we don’t have an office right now in Texas. But one of the common big mistakes that people are making when they’re organizing their assets, thinking that they’re accumulation, organizations can work in retirement.
CLAYTON: For him it was, he didn’t know what the big picture was. He was only seeing a small part that his advisor was, a very small lens, a narrow lens that was focused on a couple of investments. So, he was looking at, “What else am I missing? What else is out there that I might not have in my plan?”
MIKE: Did that small lens look like a pie chart, by chance?
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CLAYTON: [LAUGH] Yes.
MIKE: Let me throw the analogy out there, okay. Let’s assume you’re not an auto mechanic, most of us listening to the show right now are not auto mechanics. All right, pop the hood to your car. What’s wrong with it? It’s not starting, what’s wrong with it? I mean, there are… have you looked at your car recently? I mean, they have so many computers and gadgets and bells and whistles, it’s very complicated. I mean, cars today are extremely more complicated than they were, I mean, back in the day, you had that old Toyota pickup truck, you had probably three or four things going on there, you could just tighten a few wrenches, bang a few screws, and eventually it would probably start up again. Not today.
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MIKE: They are very sophisticated cars. The same goes with a retirement plan. Back in the day, you’d work ‘til 55 years old, you’d live two, three, four years in your retirement and then you die. That’s just how it was. The pension and social security, if you lived a little bit longer, a couple of the years, that was the MO. But you know what today, the good news is you’re living longer than you ever have before. The bad news is, you’re living longer than you ever have before, and there’s more illness happening today that’s chronic than we’ve ever experienced before as well. It’s somewhat of an epidemic depending on who you’re talking to.
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MIKE: On top of that, there are less pensions being offered. The markets are more volatile than they seemed to be back in the day, and I’m referring to the 60s and 70s and 80s, you know, roughly speaking. I know there’s been a few crashes there, but not like today. Not like today. And then on top of all that, there are so many investments that are extremely complicated to understand. I mean, gosh, I think the average person in America has a higher probability of fixing their car without any auto mechanic background, than they do putting together a proper retirement plan by themself [PH]. Because there’s so much garbage out there and so much noise on what to do and how to do it.
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MIKE: Because a lot of its built-in by Series 7 brokers who are paid on a commission to sell you a part that you don’t need. That’s a lot of noise. Wouldn’t it be nice to just come in and say, “Here’s the plan.” And have it being given in a way that you can understand it. That’s a beautiful thing.
CLAYTON: Yeah, and Mike, you mentioned the Series 7 broker. So, really quick, just touching on that. You’ve got different licenses for different types of financial advisors. But I want to tell our listeners there are three checks to see if your financial advisor is a fiduciary.
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MIKE: And keep in mind only 1.6 percent of all financial professionals are actually a fiduciary to you. 100 percent.
CLAYTON: Right. So, you’ve got…
MIKE: That’s not many.
CLAYTON: It’s not a lot. It’s a very small amount. So, you want to check this with your advisor. Number one, are they Series 65 licensed? So, find out what license they have. Number two, are they independent? So, are they working for a major brokerage firm or not? If they are independent, they are not being told what to sell, they can offer you whatever you need. They have a wider range of investments that they have access to.
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CLAYTON: And then finally, are they a registered investment advisory? Those are the three checks to see and when you call we can give that list to you again.
MIKE: Now, we’re not saying here that all fiduciaries are all-knowing. All we’re suggesting is when you work with a fiduciary, there’s a higher probability of success because they’re legally bound to do what’s in your best interest, and they’re held to a very high standard. When it comes to asset organization, this is critical. This is the essential, the keystone of your retirement plan that when implemented correctly holds everything else together for a smooth and reliable income plan.
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MIKE: That you have a higher probability of being successful.
CLAYTON: So, if you want to learn more about the distribution plan, about how those income streams fit in, what that written plan looks like, give us a call. Our number is (833) 707-3030.
MIKE: Now, I want you wall just to picture yourself right now, okay. You just woke up and you ask the spouse and say, “Gosh, what day is it?” And the spouse says, “I think it’s a Tuesday.” But it really doesn’t matter. Because every day feels like Saturday. And you get up and the chores that you have, you’re not drudging them, because you look forward to them.
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MIKE: They’re not really chores. You’re gardening because you like to garden. You didn’t have to have that garden. You’re choosing to garden. You’ve got a motorcycle in your garage because you’ve always wanted to put one together and that’s what you’re doing right now. When you could live every day like Saturday, it’s a beautiful moment. That right there is where we want to go. And our job as fiduciaries is to help you get there on your schedule and your timeframe and with the dreams that you have set out for you in your retirement.
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CLAYTON: So, here’s what happens when you call. We’ve got a friendly voice that’ll answer. Again, if it’s on the weekend they’ll take your information, we’ll get back to you on a Monday. And then when you come in you can sit down with our purebred fiduciary. So, here’s what those visits look like. The first visit you come in, it’s a review. It’s finding out what is important to you, it’s learning about your situation and your needs. And finding out what is it that you need for your retirement?
MIKE: Here’s what it’s not though. And this is important. It’s not a conversation that everyone leads into the same situation. It’s not a conversation of manipulation or coercing or high pressure.
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MIKE: I mean, for goodness sakes, this is so relaxing, we’re asking questions, we’re getting to know you, and we do get to know you and you get to know us very intimately and it’s a very fun, relaxing environment that we can just sit here and talk about your dreams in retirement. That allows you to see everything that’s there and all of the hope that you have right now is able to be freed and enjoyed and the fear that’s preventing that hope from being enjoyed is not there. So, call us. (833) 707-3030. We got to wrap up the show here, Clayton.
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MIKE: This has been fun. We’ve been talking about the principles of retirement planning, specifically the second and third principle, all revolving around having a written distribution plan, not using that pie chart guesser. We’ve also been focusing on social security as one of the main income streams that most all Americans are going to enjoy in retirement. But not leaving yourself short. Not deferring to 62 or 70 years old to file, but to really know the time to file and to get all the benefit you can out of Uncle Sam and the Social Security Administration. We’ve also been talking about rentals and pensions and how they incorporate beautifully into the whole picture of a retirement plan.
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MIKE: But most of all, and this was the keystone of the conversation today, how to articulate or not even how to articulate, how to organize your assets in an appropriate way following the principles of retirement planning that allow any given person to not have to worry about what the market does. That they’re not having the market depict what their lifestyle is going to look like. That they’re not having to live reactionary to what’s going around them, that they can be deliberate and proactive and live the life that they want.
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MIKE: This all happens by organizing your assets correctly. By following the principles that govern proper retirement planning and most of all, by living a safer retirement. It’s a beautiful thing. Clayton, thank you for joining me on the show today.
CLAYTON: I love being here. Thanks, Mike.
MIKE: Now, next week we’re going to have the same show with some great content, same time, same place next week. But you can also catch this show via podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio podcasts, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts as well as you can catch it at DeckerRetirementPlanning.com.
Decker Retirement Planning Inc. is a registered investment advisor in the state of Washington. Our investment advisors may not transact business in states unless appropriately registered or excluded or exempted from such registration. We are registered as an investment advisor in WA, ID, UT, CA, NV and TX. We can provide investment advisory services in these states and other states where we are exempted from registration.